Our bodies need oxygen to survive. In fact, irreversible brain and other organ damage can begin within minutes of oxygen deprivation. When there is a lower-than-normal amount of oxygen in the blood, this is referred to as hypoxemia. A lower than normal amount of oxygen in tissues of the body is known as hypoxia. A complete lack of oxygen is called anoxia. Hypoxia, hypoxemia and anoxia during pregnancy, labor or delivery can have disastrous results, leading to permanent disabilities, brain damage, cerebral palsy, and even death. It is important for a lack of oxygen to be immediately identified and treated to prevent undue harm.
At the Law Firm of Michael H. Bereston, we are passionate about helping children who have been left injured or disabled as a result of hypoxia, hypoxemia or anoxia before, during, or after labor and delivery. Michael Bereston has 30 years of trial experience and uses this to provide effective legal representation as a Maryland birth injury lawyer. We will be honest and compassionate in our approach to help you to get the right answers to make the right choices.
Call our Annapolis offices at (410) 220-6581 or contact us online for a free, confidential consultation regarding hypoxic brain damage and obstetric malpractice. We help clients across Maryland and throughout the country.
Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)
Hypoxic (lack of oxygen), Ischemic (lack of blood supply), Encephalopathy (brain dysfunction) is a condition caused by a chronic or sudden loss of blood supply and oxygen to the brain. Hypoxic events can severely affect the fetus during labor and delivery. Fetal monitoring is one tool that can be used to identify when a baby is not getting enough oxygen and blood flow in labor and delivery. HIE can lead to cerebral palsy. Because of this, careful monitoring of the fetus during labor and delivery is essential. If the signs of hypoxia are not correctly and timely identified and treated, the baby may incur HIE brain damage.
Linking Hypoxia to Medical Malpractice
Not every instance of hypoxia will be caused by medical malpractice. At times, unforeseen complications can cause problems that even the most skilled and careful nurse or doctor could not avoid. However, there are some cases where hypoxic brain damage can be linked directly to a healthcare professional’s failure to provide proper monitoring and care.
The following are examples of acts/failures to act that could cause hypoxia, hypoxemia or anoxia:
- Delaying a C-section
- Failing to recommend a C-section in a high-risk pregnancy or birth
- Mismanaging/mistreating shoulder dystocia, or other complications
- Failing to respond to fetal distress or fetal intolerance
- Failing to diagnose/treat placental abruption, placenta previa or umbilical cord prolapse or impingement
- Failing to diagnose macrosomia or cephalopelvic disproportion
- Failing to diagnose uterine overstimulation
- Mismanaging medications provided to induce or augment labor
If your child’s condition was caused by medical malpractice, his or her care should be provided for by the at-fault medical professional or facility. Maryland birth injury attorney Michael Bereston can work to help ensure this.
Arrange your free case evaluation today by calling (410) 220-6581.